Have YOU Updated YOUR Balance Sheet lately?
Food for Thought (a.k.a. A challenge for YOU!)
Chapter 1: Setting the stage (a.k.a. The background and context)
It is that time of the year again?
Year end reporting and taxes.
Double Yuck in my case because
now that I have started my own practice.
I now have 2 of each.
Taxes on the personal and professional side.
And assets on the personal and professional side.
By assets, for you non-accountants, I am referring to one’s Balance Sheet.
I don’t like accounting and math and numbers.
So, I have outsourced most of it (i.e. I hired an accountant).
Ironically enough though,
This is also the time of the year when I am asked to renew
MY professional accreditations (which by the way are some of my assets).
I can expect a renewal email with an amount to pay anytime now from:
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) and,
The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) and,
here is the interesting, ironic one,
The Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Canada.
The latter being the most expensive of the bunch to renew.
So, what am I doing with an accounting designation if I don’t like accounting?
Besides, I am in the people development business these days,
and not in the counting beans business.
The business with all the rules and regulations associated with counting those beans.
Like debits equaling credits and revenue recognition,
and all kinds of equally mind numbingly dull concepts.
At least as far as I am concerned,
based on my preferences and personality and strengths.
Apologies to my accounting peers but to “each is own”. 🙂
It has been several years now that I have been entertaining
the notion of possessing one less set of letters after my name.
But then I remember that the accountants,
and the folks in Finance,
including the CFO, for that matter,
seem to be spending a whole lot of time thinking of,
and spending time on,
people and talent development.
So are most of the other executives and their teams, across the C-Suite.
I remember the results of the studies on C-suite priorities
from my days spent as program director on the CFO program at my former employer.
With few exceptions, talent was top of mind for all the functions.
No wonder there were so many CPA webinars and sessions on Talent this year.
Talent (a.k.a. people, a.k.a. unique individuals with their own strengths and ways to contribute)
specially in this day and age,
are one of the greatest assets that an organization has at its disposal.
At least that is what everyone seems to be writing and saying these days.
Talent is the greatest asset that any organization can possess.
I don’t remember seeing talent on a whole lot of company balance sheets.
How does that saying go again?
“You manage what you measure”
Sounds like we are not measuring it, it being Our People.
At least not on the balance sheet.
That’s the measuring.
What about the managing?
How are we doing in managing, and leading for that matter, Our People.
Not too great it would appear.
Can you say lack of engagement! 🙁
According to a recent study by Deloitte only 12.3% of people are passionate at work.
Another article I read mentions that 1 in 3 are actively looking to change jobs.
Does not sound like a pretty state of affairs.
Makes you wonder where all the leaders have gone.
And by leaders, I am not referring to titles,
I am referring to people who have the capability to inspire and motivate others.
Anyways, back to the topic of this blog.
The balance sheet.
If talent is so important to organizations.
And leaders are best able to inspire great things from this talent.
And talent are people.
Then one would expect people to figure more prominently on the balance sheet.
Unfortunately, they do not.
Too hard to value them so we will have to exclude them.
Besides, turn over rates are so high these days,
many of them will have left before the ink on the balance sheet dries.
Speaking of people.
Back to me.
I mentioned that I am an accountant.
I did not mention that I am a management account.
One of my areas of focus in my advising days was on value based management.
Trying to measure things of value.
After all, as I mentioned previously,
it is hard to manage what you can’t measure.
So, I am going to put on my management accountant hat.
And I am going to take a crack at putting together MY Balance Sheet.
What are some of MY greatest ASSETS?
MY hypothesis is that just like one strengths,
If we are not aware of our assets,
And the importance of them,
Then it is hard to play to them!
And build on them!
So, without further ado, here I go…..
Oh and by the way,
YOU have probably figured out by now what MY challenge to YOU
is going to be at the end of this blog.
Don’t worry, I will try and make this simple.
No need to sign up for an accounting course. 🙂
Unless YOU want to.
Chapter 2: Exploring the topic (a.k.a. researching and connecting)
O.k. let’s get going.
How about the definition of a balance Sheet?
Well here you go:
“a statement of the assets, liabilities, and capital of a business or other organization
at a particular point in time, detailing the balance of income and expenditure over the preceding period.”
Wow! That is a lot of items. Sounds complicated!
I think that I am more interested in the “assets”.
That is where the future value resides.
And now that I am leading a much healthier lifestyle,
I have this funny feeling that I have many more years of life left to fund. 🙂
For that I am grateful.
The definition of management accounting.
Unlike financial accounting,
where there are lots of rules and regulations.
In management accounting, you get to do what makes the most sense.
And in this case, since this is your personal balance sheet,
What ever makes the most sense to you.
And in this case, to ME.
Oh and by the way.
For those of you who do not know me,
And MY preferences (a.k.a. personality)
I don’t much care for rules. 🙂
One more definition for you,
They are essentially groupings of similar types of assets.
I guess they could also be unique items if there is no need to group a bunch of things.
After all, how many types and numbers of assets can one person possibly possess.
Well turns out, lots, but I am getting ahead of myself here. 🙂
So, back to the task at hand.
Deciding on Asset Classes.
Where do I go for inspiration?
Both for asset classes and to better understand their impact on ME and MY value.
I have a couple of ideas in mind.
A couple of things that I can call upon and consult
And guess what, they are part of my assets,
Some of my most powerful ones.
Some of the ones that I have recently spent a lot of time on.
I have spent a lot of time on them because,
I both enjoy doing them and they help make me better off.
And they are ….
Writing My blogs!
I have shared over a dozen to date and they cover off a lot of potential balance sheet items.
And learning more about myself!
I spent a lot of time recently getting to know myself and my strengths and my gifts better.
I even created a tool to help me out in this regards.
I call it My “WHO AM I” workbook.
And by WHO AM I, I mean ME, the Authentic ME,
Not someone else that I aspire to be.
Or someone that others want me to be.
Just little old ME.
The one I want to be.
Even rhymes. 🙂
Note to self: You as starting to sound like Dr. Seuss.
I could not ask for a better set of tools to help me
In developing MY balance sheet.
Chapter 3: My takeaway(s) (a.k.a. What I have I learned? How have I grown?)
I am sharing MY First DRAFT of MY Balance Sheet in the appendix section below.
And by First draft, I mean First Draft.
I will continue to build on it and expand on it while moving forward.
But hey, you gotta start somewhere.
And this is my start.
I am not looking for perfection,
Far from it,
I am looking to learn.
And grow. 🙂
So, what did I learn?
I came up with 6 balance sheet categories.
And I tried to rank them in order of potential impact.
Impact on my future well being and my ability to have a positive impact on others.
Note: Having a positive impact on others is very, very important for me.
The first 3 categories, were,
All about people,
The first 2 categories, “ME, MYSELF and I”,
And “MY Brand”,
And the 3rd category,
“MY Community of Practice”
Which for me was MY big AHA insight from this exercise.
Although I have recently started to realize the importance of One’s network.
It is only now dawning on me how important an asset these people are to me.
And hopefully me to them.
Networking and building “work” related relationships was
something that scared me not so long ago.
And by not so long ago, I mean 5 years ago.
Although we all read of the importance of one’s network
Many people often underestimate its importance and value,
Unless of course they suddenly find themselves looking for a job. 🙁
In my vernacular, MY Community of practice is a sub-set of my network.
A sub-set of clients and colleagues and peers and in many cases friends.
They have one thing in common,
They are People.
People who share my values and are there to support and encourage me.
They care for me.
And I am there to support and encourage them.
I care for them as well.
It is what I like to call a win-win (or care-care) relationship.
Win-win relationships are built on caring and trust
And lots of effort.
LOTS of effort.
But as far as bang for one’s buck goes,
I would not be where I am today,
and I am convinced that I will not get to where I want to be tomorrow,
and the next day and the day after that etc.,
without the support and encouragement of all the great people that I have in MY community.
I am so grateful that I have taken the time to really start developing and leveraging this asset recently.
As I always seem to saying these days,
Better late than never. 🙂
And speaking of value.
To me, it is all about the Quality of the relationships and not the Quantity of contacts.
Hence the differentiation between MY Community of Practice and MY Network.
They are both important, but one has greater value to ME.
I am hoping that I am also providing value to them.
I am hoping that my name comes up in the appropriate asset category
when the people in my community put together their balance sheets. 🙂
My business mission of helping make people better off will hopefully help me in that regards.
Oh, and as I point on in my blog on “the next generation of our leaders”,
I place a lot of value on inclusiveness
and what better way to be inclusive with one’s community,
Than to Go Global.
Luckily for me,
technology is quite the enabler in that regards.
Most of my offerings are virtual (i.e. voice and /or video),
so, new members of my community are only a “virtual coffee chat” away.
My son has a big map on the wall of his room,
We were sticking pins on the cities where I have members of
My community and network.
Lots of pins. 🙂
Lots of places.
Lots of people.
Lots of really special people. 🙂
My other big take away was.
Just how much of the line items on the balance sheet,
were about ME.
One word really came to mind as I went through those items.
The word is Authentic.
Being aware of and playing to MY Strengths.
Being aware of and honouring MY Values.
Being aware of and embracing MY Person (i.e. MY personality and preferences).
Being aware of respecting the feedback on ME from others.
(MY value as seen through the lenses of others).
By The Way.
The importance of being authentic is also highlighted
in one of my recent additions to MY balance sheet.
More specifically, MY first group coaching offering;
“Authentic leadership bootcamp”.
Speaking of ME
The next 2 asset classes;
“My Strategies, Methodologies and tool kits”
also involve a lot of ME.
More specifically, all of the things that I have created.
MY blogs, MY tools, MY first draft of MY book etc.
I have created them to help others.
Some of them I consider to be art.
I consider myself to be an artist.
Helping make people better off is my craft.
People are my canvas.
And the more people that I can inspire and empower with my tools,
the more value I feel that I am creating.
and as such, the more value that should be reflected in MY balance sheet.
Maybe these 2 asset classes are not all about ME after all.
Sounds like a lot of potential impact on others.
By sharing my stories.
And by sharing my tools.
And via my coaching.
How do I possibly capture and quantify all of that?
This valuing assets on the Balance Sheet is pretty tough after all. 🙁
But just being aware of it and jotting it down and looking at it from time to time,
is, for me at least, a good reminder of just how valuable I am as a person.
For some reason, we have a tendency to forget about all the great things,
That we have done,
That we have learned,
That we have experienced,
That we have shared.
YOU know, just taking this first pass at MY balance sheet has been a real eye opener.
I am not sure to what extent it meets accounting standards?
But YOU know what?
I don’t care.
It works for ME.
Oh, and 2 more take-aways before YOUR challenge!
I could not help but notice that all the stuff that appears on a typical balance sheets,
I.e. My category of money and physical assets,
Came in last in the order of importance on mine.
I guess the author of “do what YOU love and the money will follow”,
was onto something after all. 🙂
And my last take-away.
I had trouble separating MY Professional from MY Personal self in several instances.
Especially when it came to what I am calling,
MY Personal foundation.
Which includes my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.
I have found that it does not matter how many assets I have on MY Business Balance Sheet,
If I show up to work in the morning and I am not feeling my best
(i.e. not bringing my A game).
It could be because:
I have not exercised recently and/or,
I have not been eating well (or at all) and/or,
I am feeling stressed from a personal relationship and/or
I have not done the groceries and the kids are coming that evening and/or
I did not sleep enough hours the night before and/or
Etc. Etc. Etc.
The more Etc.’s there are, the lower my energy and hence the value that I can create.
I am not MY Self.
I am not MY BEST Self.
And I find it hard to play to my assets when I don’t show up as Myself.
Hence the inclusion of MY personal foundation in MY Balance Sheet.
It is a key enabler of my ability to execute in my Professional side of the equation,
And more importantly, maintain and build upon what I have created.
Chapter 4: MY Challenge to YOU (An opportunity for YOU to learn and grow.)
Optional of course. Like everything in Life. YOUR CHOICE!
O.k. I did not quantify any of my assets.
Could I quantify them?
It would be subjective but I could take a crack.
I am not sure how worthwhile the exercise would be though?
How do I quantify having found MY mission in life?
How do I quantify having found My mojo in coaching?
How do I quantify having found My gift in writing?
I could take a crack at it.
But I am not going to bother.
To me they are priceless.
Just knowing what they are is awareness enough for me.
An awareness, that I believe, will encourage ME to
continue to build upon them.
And to that end, I am going to print off my balance sheet.
I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall in my office.
Like a trophy. Like a piece of art.
And them I am going to renew my CPA for another year.
This accounting stuff is not that dry and boring after all.
Especially when I can use it to help inspire others. 🙂
Have I inspired YOU yet?
If I have, and YOU decide to take a crack at YOUR balance sheet.
Feel free to reach out and share.
Via the blog comments or directly to me or both.
I am looking for all the feedback and ideas that I can get.
After all, time flies when you are having fun,
and I am having fun these days.
Before you know it,
It will be year end again and time for Version 2.0. of MY Balance Sheet.
In the meantime, I am going to “play to my assets” and “connect” more often to ME and THEM.
And by THEM, I mean people.
Wherever they may reside. 🙂
Well, that’s all folks.
Looking at making a positive CHANGE in YOUR Life?
What would that change be?
MAKING THAT CHANGE A REALITY!
Make that change a reality and explore Life Coaching at the same time by participating in my “Life Coaching with Dave Experience”. A great opportunity to experience Life Coaching in a very timely and cost-effective way. The details are on MY website in the 1to1 Coaching Section.
And NO, that is not a typo in the $ rate of the offering. It looks low because it is. I am really trying to encourage YOU and others to give Life Coaching a try.
Reminder! Check out the First Draft of MY Balance Sheet in the Appendix Section Below
MY BALANCE SHEET
David Arthur Walker
MY MOST Important Business (and Personal?) ASSETS
As at February 2, 2017
As measured by
Asset #1: ME, Myself and I
- MY level of energy and excitement (a.k.a. my level of passion, of having fun, of being engaged, of hooting etc.)
- MY level of confidence (i.e.my faith and belief in myself and what I am doing)
- MY level of growth and positivity (a.k.a. my level of growth mindset, my level of positivity)
- MY level of Fear (a.k.a. my fear factor. Just the right amount to avoid being overconfident or blind-sided by something unexpected like a train. No more than that though, thanks :))
- My top strengths (i.e. Creative, Futuristic, Ideation, Input, Zest)
- My knowledge and My experiences (a.k.a. MY Wisdom. Note: I have combined the two since I learn by doing)
- My purview of things (I am grateful to have seen and experienced a lot especially in the Corporate world both globally and nationally, i.e. Canada)
- MY values. A strong awareness of which allow me to honour them.
- And last but not least, MY Personal foundation: My level of health and well being on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sides of the equation (FYI. Tip-top shape these days :))
Asset #2: MY Brand
- MY level of awareness i.e. my awareness of my values, my strengths, my preferences, my wants and needs, and all the other personal and professional self assessments that I have taken, etc.)
- MY level of Authenticity as viewed by ME (i.e. extent that I am honouring and playing to the above)
- MY level of Authenticity as viewed by those I respect and care for and have similar values as me (i.e. extent that they perceive ME regarding the above as captured through formal 360 feedback and informal communications)
- MY testimonials and endorsements (on linked-in, on my website and in my testimonials database) and how people remember me (FYI – Here’s hoping that I was nice in the past and did not burn any bridges or gossip or say nasty things about others 🙁 )
- My professional designations (note. These ones cost $$$). MBA. CPA, CMA, Global and Quebec Member of ICF, Candidate Member of CAPS, Coach U Core Essentials Graduate (CEG) etc.
Asset #3: MY Community of Practice (FYI – A sub-set of my network)
- MY Clients
- MY Desired Clients
- MY Angels
- MY Influencers
- MY Collaborators (a.k.a. partners)
- My Inspirers
- My other colleagues and peers
- And, last but certainly not least ….. MY Life Coach (a.k.a. Shawna 🙂)
Asset #4 My Strategies, Methodologies and tool kits
- MY strategies (FYI. Turns out that my “Leadership Strength Domain (per author Tom Rath) is Strategic Thinking. How convenient :))
- MY methodologies (coaching processes, leadership frameworks etc.)
- MY people development tool kits (i.e. MY tool kit to determine one’s top 10 values, MY 1 pager on career priorities, questions to ponder during a role transition etc.)
- MY Practice PMO methods and tools (i.e. MY CRM tool, my time management approach (under review :)), forms, templates etc.)
- My linked-in site
- My website
Asset #5 MY Thought-ware
- My short stories
- My blogs
- My first book (Work in Progress)
- My next book
- Lots more to come, I hope, I am just a little over 1 years into this new gig. 🙂
Asset #6 My physical and financial resources
- MY physical resources (i.e. a portion of my house), my infrastructure (i.e. shared router in my house), my tools (i.e. shared cell phone and car)
- MY recurring revenue (i.e. coaching, writing, professional speaking, facilitating etc.)
- MY non-recurring revenue (i.e. coaching, writing, professional speaking, facilitating etc.)
- MY savings and investments
- MY access to credit from family, friends and the BIG banks
- MY business and liability insurance
Note 1: There are many people and roles on the personal side that intersect on the professional side but for ease of understanding I have not included them all. For example,
- Some of my friends are my clients
- Some of my family members are encouraging people to read my short stories and blogs and to visit my web site
- There are a whole lot of folks in the wellness and health professions who are supporting me. Note: They are not differentiating between the personal and professional ME 🙂